Why I want you to come to Europe and especially to Germany


It now has been nearly 5 years that I discovered this blogging thing (after wondering where the hell everybody had gone from Usenet), and it was my start into the English sphere after a “decade of denial”. Though I started blogging in German first (hidden in a secret blog to try out if it was something for me), it was the English part which really changed everything for me.

The two most relevant aspects: getting better at the ‘lingua franca’ as well as embracing international exchange not only on the virtual level.

There are many people who do not understand why one would go to events, because they only look at the content of an event – which should be done, but it is not everything. Every time I go to a new place (and I intend to go to a lot of new places) I meet people who help me to grow in several ways, and I hope I can give back and help them grow as well.

One objective for 2008:
Get people into Germany as well as getting more of those Germans out of the country. To let them mingle and learn from each other, help them succeed and foster relationships. I have always been doing this, but I want to push this even further with a special focus on the European exchange.

Basic strategy for convincing the non German speakers:
“There is an huge, untapped market. They don’t know most of the stuff you would assume they do and many of them could be tempted to speak English. And they do have money.”

The reason to get more people to come over is simple: Broadened horizons on both sides, and ‘infecting’ the local scene with the urge reach for the stars instead of just the remote control. (

This would be the easy part. The more important part though: get those Germans out of their cozy, German only, secluded sphere. Of course there are a lot of Germans already immersed in the English sphere, but ‘we’ tend to stay only there. And don’t push the others to follow.

To give you an idea: You still can be a very popular, well respected blog and be admired for your sources and insight. All you need to do is give the highlights from Techmeme some hours later.

Dear Germans: Get a grip of what is happening out there
This is going to be the harder part, as many do not understand why one would take up the effort to travel somewhere outside of Germany, especially with the misconception of it being way more expensive than doing something in Germany. The timing seems right, because 2007 clearly marked a year where more Germans did their first baby steps on some international events and seem to be interested to do more. Basic advice for the monolingual, not English native speakers has to be “get your ass into the English sphere and get an idea what is going on in the world”

I will probably reach out to many of you for information like “do you know of events in Europe which are good for international attendees” or “what are the topics you are good at presenting”, but probably also information like “you do blog on topic X, please name your favorite 5-10 postings about this”.

Most of my own proposals for events and workshops at events will be around these topics, as well as what I am interested in facilitating opportunities for others. If you have any ideas how this can be achieved, I would be happy to talk to you, this includes but is not limited to events.

One condition though with all of it: It has to be in English, at least in greater parts. Because that is the language we do communicate.

Suggestions and comments as always welcomed.


8 Responses to “Why I want you to come to Europe and especially to Germany”

  1. Jochen says:

    Nicole, a little hint: watch your “plural’s”.

  2. Nicole says:

    *g* thanks. And one should not post that tired, because that is when such things happen. ;) (oh I have more to watch than that, believe me.)

    yikes – no clue how i got that consistently wrong?!

  3. Steve Paine says:

    Do you know of any bloggers / web 2.0 events going on at cebit this year?

    Steve (englishman in Bonn)

  4. Nicole says:

    So far, no. But the last year there have always been people around to make at least a small meetup happen. As we know, Hanover is not the greatest place to be for that. ;)

  5. Timo says:

    “As we know, Hanover is not the greatest place to be for that. ;)”

    pfffffffff!!! ;-)
    but… you are right ;-)

  6. A.T. says:

    trying to shake up those home-sitters? wish you good luck, you will need it – everything-is-best-at-home is very rigid psychology :)

  7. Matt Hooper says:

    Nicole – enjoyed your post! One thing I am always on the look-out for is streams of these conferences – especially live streams! While I would love to be able to attend, it is rather a long way to come when you live in Australia – ahh the tyranny of physical distance! The streaming from recent conferences such as 24c3 and the Medienpolitik Konferenz in Berlin was brilliant. Being able to speak English and German, I prefer if they’re in the original language, too!

    I’d like to request more such live streams, even though I realise there can be cost and resource factors with getting the streams up and running.

  8. Nicole says:

    Livestream would make way more sense for a lot of conferences, as it could help them finance the very expensive conferences as well – some conferences have interesting enough content to be valuable to pay for it (or access it for free way later).

    Then again, Australia is kind of pushing it a bit. That little island down under! ;)
    But I know how you feel Matt, it is the same here with conferences in the states.

    @A.T. of course. :)